Windows 7 was released on October 22, 2009, with a commitment from Microsoft to support the operating system for 10 years. Nearly a decade on, and the clock is ticking - because, come 14 January, 2020, technical assistance and automatic updates for the estimated 30%+ of PC users utilising Windows 7 will be no more.
It's the same day that support for Windows Server 2008/ 2008 R2 and Exchange Server 2010 similarly ends.
Can My Business Continue to use Windows 7?
PCs running Windows 7 will, of course, continue to function and you may not notice that anything has changed.
What will be happening, however, is that your PCs will be becoming increasingly vulnerable to security risks and viruses.
The National Cyber Security Centre have warned:
"Malware can spread much more easily on obsolete platforms because, without security updates, known vulnerabilities will remain un-patched. As a result, it’s crucial to move away from them as quickly as possible"
We've already seen this earlier in the year, when Google found evidence of hackers making attack code jump from Chrome into other applications, to help compromise machines.
There is concern amongst the cybersecurity community that malware developers are holding back further potential Windows 7 exploit, in readiness for the January end of life deadline.
How do I know If I'm Running Windows 7?
Checking the operating system of your PCs is very straightforward:
- Select the Start button
- Type Computer in the search box
- Right-click on Computer
- Select Properties
- Under Windows edition, you'll see the version and edition of Windows that your device is running
Alternatively, type "System Information" into the search bar of your PC to access full system details.
What Should I Do Now?
Move to a new device
- For most users, Microsoft recommend moving to a new device, running Windows 10.
- Security, productivity and management capabilities offer a much improved user experience, and are helping drive a move to the modern, collaborative workplace that companies increasingly require.
- Windows 10 is updated twice a year, with improvements added with each release.
Install Windows 10
- You may be able to install Windows 10 on your existing device - the minimum hardware specification to upgrade to Windows 10 is an Intel i3 processor and 4GB RAM. Full details are available on the Microsoft's Windows 10 technical help page.
Access Extended Security Update (ESU) program
- The Extended Security Update (ESU) program is a last resort option for customers who need to run certain legacy Microsoft products past the end of support. It includes Critical and/or Important security updates for a maximum of three years after the product’s End of Extended Support date. Please contact us for pricing information
Chess is able to advise on the best options for your business, including leasing options for new hardware, migration planning and best practice for adoption. Please contact us to discuss your requirements.